Renting an HMO in Edinburgh: Advice for Landlords & Students

Interested in renting an HMO in Edinburgh? Read on for some important advice.

An HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) is any residential property rented by at least 3 people who aren’t from the same household (for example, a family). In doing so, they also share key communal facilities such as a toilet, bathroom, and kitchen. 

Renting an HMO in Edinburgh comes with plenty of benefits for both landlords and students: 

  • Firstly, for landlords, HMOs can provide higher rental yields than one or two-bedroom properties. They also help to spread risk across multiple occupants. 
  • Meanwhile, for students, they offer a chance to comfortably live with 3, 4, 5 or more friends. This means you can easily split bills and other living expenses. 

However, if you’re interested in renting out (or living in) an HMO, there are a few important things you need to keep in mind. 

HMO in Edinburgh: What Do Landlords Need to Know?

As a landlord of an HMO, it’s your responsibility to get an HMO licence and to manage and maintain the property to a high standard. This means you need to:

  • Be a registered landlord
  • Keep important certificates up-to-date
  • Undertake quarterly inspections and fire training
  • Fit smoke alarms on every level
  • Keep fire escapes clear from obstruction
  • Ensure upkeep of communal areas
  • Make sure waste disposal facilities are in place

Are you a landlord interested in letting an HMO property? Here at Cairn, we offer a variety of HMO Development and HMO Property Management services. Get in touch to find out more.

What About Students Renting an HMO?

As a student living in a house share, it’s helpful to understand the rules around HMO properties

Presuming your property has an HMO licence (you can check by emailing, your landlord is legally-bound to meet certain safety and cleanliness standards.  

If you feel as though these standards have slipped, and your landlord isn’t responding, you can flag this to Edinburgh city council. They’re responsible for enforcing these standards and can compel your landlord to take the appropriate action.

Are you a student interested in renting an HMO in Edinburgh? We manage several licenced HMO properties in the city. Get in touch to learn more.